Oct 16, 2007

The opening of a door...


1 : the act of permitting

2 : formal consent : authorization


1 a: to make different in some particular : alter
b: to make radically different : transform
c: to give a different position, course, or direction to

As you know, I am a homeschooling mama. We have walked this homeschooling road for 11 years now, since my homemade was of school "age."

Over the course of following this call, given to us by God, we have used several different methods of teaching. I am a "Charlotte Mason" type girl, actually I didn't even know of her when I began, for four years I "taught", then I stumbled across Miss Mason and her teaching philosophy. I was so thankful to have been placed on the same path as my new friend Charlotte (though she had long been gone from this earthy place.)
How grateful my heart was to learn that I had followed the Lord and was actually, "teaching" as this wonderful educator of long ago. It gave me a confidence that I sorely lacked in my starting years, it was like that seed of greatness that God planted within me suddenly burst forth into bloom.

Flash forward a few years, suddenly I have gone from 3 students (high school sophomore, 7th grader, and 3 grader)-to a quick 'almost' mother of six. Almost, almost means I was fostering my wee three until God worked out the details of their adoption-which He did with amazing quickness.

A look at last year- a mama running in too many direction. A woman wishing to have her feet in one world...I lived here, within the rules of foster care, the public school (my 5 year old was mandated to go by the state, until adopted), and preschool (also mandated by the state for my 3 year old son.) I became a woman who wore a watch-well not really, I never succombed to that, I did constantly check clocks...but never tied one on myself.

At the end of last year, the Lord spoke, he told me I was to have a year of change. Change not only in doubling by adopting the three he sent, but with "how" we homeschooled. He spoke the word ,"unschool." Now I don't want to offend anyone, but I have never liked the word or the picture in brought to mind, in my spirit. I shared this with my husband, who said to do as God said. I am a woman under authority, of God and my dear Knight.

Now I must tell you, I don't think I am unschooling. I have changed it to "family schooling" as this is more of the focus than "un", which means NOT (to me anyway).

I have told the Lord I don't know how, I have asked Him what I am supposed to do. Honestly, things look a lot like when I started 11 years ago with just one, well it's a lot LOUDER now. I don't think I am walking in disobedience, but that I have permission to relax. To walk the road slower and with more rest, or that is how I imagine it.

Today my three oldest decided they would knit. My oldest has shunned knitting for years, though she was taught at 7. Today a competition has begun, and I laughed, because it smelled of unschooling family schooling. I heard the Lord, he was smiling and saying, "You can trust me."

(my knitters-picture taken prior to having 3 younger siblings.)

I think in lots of ways he is trying to get me to the end of myself, to which I answer, "Yes, but help me Lord."

postscript: *I have answered some questions that were asked from this post, in the comments section of this posting...in case you'd like to take a peak!


blue thistle books said...


This is such a beautiful post. And such a beautiful photo of the girls.

I know that God would never give you a word without following through. And sometimes we wait to hear a word, when the answers are right before us. Even though this is unfamiliar territory for you, He will guide you in everything. Of this I am sure.

Praying for you!


Sniz said...

I feel the same way about the word "unschooling". I'm really interested in what your "family school day" looks like. What does it mean? Is there any formal teaching? Or do you focus on child-interest? I've always wondered how unschooling approaches basic things that we need to know that don't always come up, like math or grammar. You know I homeschool too, which is why I'm so curious. Also, any news on the adoption front? How about finding a pediatrician?

Sniz said...

Oh, I meant to also ask if any of your kids showed an interest in college, how would that be approached? Would they get a diploma from home? Do you have any concern about them taking the SATs or ACTs?

Bobbie-Jo said...


I really appreciate your honesty about the sudden changes that came in your life. I often feel like I am failing becuase of the chaos that has replaced predictability. But it is coming, slowly.

My method of schooling is being slowly molded as we go, from intensely pleasing the big "THEY THAT BE" to now meeting my kids where they are, emotionally, spiritually and educationally. Every so often I get a soft "Do this" or "Try it that way" that makes so much more sense than the way I'm trying to force. My goal for the kids is discipleship, not degrees (although degrees can be important!)

Your sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit really encourages me to keep on with my spiritual disciplines, because I love my Lord and want to know Him and His will.

It is a beautiful post, your spirit really shines through. I'm going to re-read it, I know I have a lot to glean. :)

Michelle said...

Saw your comment on Country Doctor's Wife and had to check you out! We have seven children...6 by birth and 1 through adoption.
I homeschool three of them (my highschool age boys are in school). I am excited to read up on more of your posts.

nsremom said...

Isn't it nice to have a godly husband who just says, "do what God tells you."

LOVE that....love it, love it, love it.

I think my husband would have said the same thing. He trust me, but more importantly...he trust HIM.

yeehaw for freedom to do as He leads us.

javamamma said...

Enjoy your knitting 'unit' - for as long as it lasts. I'm so glad does not have a cookie cutter mold for all families. The diversity is amazing. Keep being obedient!

Kimmie said...

Dear Sniz (and anyone else who might be curious or interested...)

Well, family school should be more reflective of values a family would have versus what a "school or homeschool" would choose. We are focused on helping each other, on helping the three that we just added 'catch up,'(they were abused and neglected) we are interested in seeking God first in all things, memorizing scripture is a part of our day...we keep track in a journal of all the Word that has been memorized over the course of the school year.
Mind you, I don't know HOW to "unschool"...I am doing what I know and trying to relax (more, as most people who know me think I am very relaxed).

We don't have a set schedule, though we do get math done first thing...after devotions...then it just is do what you have ...ask for help (KEY RULE HERE) and continue to press on towards the mark. I am always available, much of my time is spent with the four youngest now. Older ones are more independant.

We spend a lot of time with mama reading out loud...I am reading Little Woman to the kids, also an out of print book called The Children's Bluebird, Children's History of the World...the kids illustrate as I read. We get 50 books (spanning every subject)...out of the library every 3 weeks...sometimes more, never less. We read them ALL, unless one is not honoring to God (no witchcraft, Harry Potter or that type of book). In the course of 11 years, only a handful of books went back unread, as my children learn to self-govern early as what is God honoring and what is NOT. The Holy Spirit has protected and blessed us mightily with the library. All my kids love library day, my three newest say, "Thank YOU for taking us Mama" everytime- like I just gave them a pony.

My oldest totally self governs her studies...she is taking the PSAT's tomorrow...it is her first (official) test...though we have been told she is "very" intelligent. We have done some testing that comes with some of her courses, she has always done well...she is an overachiever for sure. She picks her curriculum herself at the Christian homeschool convention in April-as well as help me and her father chose for the younger ones.

We are not 'aiming at college,' if God wants them to go to college he will give them the drive and the determination and vision (us too!) My oldest (16) is studying Italian (already has had 3 years of Spanish and 2 years of Latin...finished high school English, very motivated, is also currently editing 2 books she has written which she'd like to get published.) Very self motivated and driven.

College is great if it is what you are called to...if not it is a terrible waste of time and money.

We don't have one concern in regards to college...God has called us, we have been obedient and diligent, so we expect to see the fruit from that in our children's lives and futures.

God has blessed us abundantly and we are confident that He will continue in more of the same. ;-)

We homeschool not to have "brain surgeons" but to have children who love God, others and have servant hearts. As soon as my kids are big enough we plug them into service.

No- on the adoption front...no news...not looking good for Guatemala for us.

No on the pediatrician...need to make appointments...

feel like I wrote a book here....

hope you have some answers.

*we are not perfect, nor did I try to depict perfect, we just love God and try to do our very best for His Glory.


Stacy said...


I spoke with an "older" homeschooling mama the other day. They have 3 or 4 older kids (oldest is in his first year of college, youngest is 3)... and when I told her Ella and I were doing an hour to an hour and a half, 4 days a week, her response was: "That's a LOT."

A LOT? Most of the time I feel like I have to justify that "little" amount. She then explained that they do "unschooling" at their house... they homeschool through 9th grade and really just live life, read a lot of books, learn and grow and explore together. It sounds great to me! And her now college-aged son is doing excellent in school and not only that but has excellent character.

Unschool away, girlfriend! I love it. He's always directed your steps, He'll continue to as He unveils what He means by this new season!
Love you!

Stacy said...

Having just read your lengthy comment, I wanted to say more:

I am so with you, Kimmie! You share my heart for homeschooling. Lots of reading, not aiming for college, loving and learning and growing as a family.

It is easy to get caught up in the race and the educational pursuit of all of this, but I continue to remind myself that God called us to homeschooling so that we will have more opportunities to teach them about Him. THAT is what matters. Children who grow up learning to love and obey God. Everything else? Optional.


Quinne said...

Kimmie, I thank you for sharing this today. I was just discussing my heart about our homeschool with my sweet dh today, and so MANY of the things you shared are how I am feeling led by the Father.

Honestly, I read all about the "un" when I was researching before we began with a curriculum. I liked the idea, but it seemed so unofficial (for lack of a better word) and I couldn't see myself handling it very well (being quite the list and plan person).

Anyway, for the last two school days, I have been re-thinking things. I am astounded to be here! It will be a joy (though I have to admit to some fear) to see what the Father is up to.

It is a blessing to know you, and I am praying with you in this :) Love, Q

UKBob said...

Hi Kimmie, Thats a nice post, by the way, I never wear a watch either. Bob.

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing this, Kimmie! I started feeling guilty because I haven't been doing as much "book work" with Michael as I thought I should be doing, but after this post and reading the comments, I KNOW he is doing fine!

He spends all day Tuesdays out and about. He starts the day with my father (our pastor) who can do anything and everythig :) and they have been wiring lights in some of the buildings at our ministry center. They have done visiting and helping some of the widows in church etc. Then he goes to co-op art, Kung Fu and kids music.

I guess when I think about it, he is probably learning more on that one day then the entire rest of the week sitting in front of his work books! I have become a lot more relaxed this year but was feeling guilty about it. I probably shouldn't push even as much as I am. (Math is his "thing" so I do try to challenge him here.)

This post really helped....thanks!

Jenni said...

Oh, your girls are so beautiful!

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We do not "family school" but we are very relaxed in how we go about it, by necessity! I try to keep blinders on my eyes with regards to what other people are doing because I am SO susceptible to feelings of inadequacy and have a tendency to jump on every bandwagon that drives by. LOL.

randi---i have to say said...

The word unschool has always gone against my grain too ,although i love the idea of the relaxed nature of it. Family schooling is a perfect way to describe my goal of homeschooling!

I would be interested in hearing more about the changes you have made and how God has led you in this.

You have a beautiful group of knitters!!!

Christin said...

Again, I sooo love your heart!! It's obvious that you are a woman who is dedicated to following the Lord, even when it's not the 'easy route'.

My hubby and his sibs were homeschooled. I don't think my MIL had any set curriculum as this was back before h.s.ing was popular. ...They had truancy officers come to their house! They just learned to LOVE learning.

They ALL (there are 6 of them) are exceptionally smart. own businesses. get along with ALL types of people. LOVE the Lord and follow him wholeheartedly.

It's so easy to get in the mindset of doing public school at home. But I'm sooo thankful that God has individual plans for each individual family. And you inspire me to keep seeking him for OURS.


Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks for your comment about our prodigal returning Kimmie. I am so glad to get to "meet" you!!! I loved this post. It is obvious you have a lot to say that needs to be said. I've bookmarked you and I'll be back :o)

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